Sunday 9th Aug
Appropriately, for today’s watery theme we will be welcoming the family of Arthur Samuel Lucas for his baptism after this morning’s service. Like everything else, it will be a different experience from pre-Covid. Distancing, masks, hand sanitising – all as at our Sunday service.
And in addition, all physical contact is banned, so a parent will bring him to the font. For many male clergy in the past that would have been a relief! But for me meeting and holding the newest members of our church family was always a delight, however they reacted to oil and water. I don’t have any actual scallop shells to pour the water with but I’ve found a smaller version dug up many years ago on a cold beach in northern England!
But whatever the changes it is still a sacrament of welcome and incorporation. And it works whatever the commitment of the parents. I have sometimes detected a feeling that if the family don’t come to church somehow they don’t ‘deserve’ the church christening.
I hope we’re well beyond that at St Maxentius and have replaced it with a desire to connect with our visitors, to encourage their involvement on terms that they can engage with. Jan B’s Shining Stars service for babies and their carers is part of our offer to them. It will be good when we can invite our baptism families to them again.
So remember Arthur, and Lauren and Simeon, his parents, and pray for all families coming for baptism, that they may experience the love of God through us and through the service.